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In the post, “The Dropout Issue: One in 4 college freshman dropout”, Jonathan Whitbourne touches the problem of university student dropping out. Whitbourne provides insight into the leading six factors that university student drop out. According to American College Screening, “one in every 4 trainees leaves college prior to completing sophomore year” (pointed out in Whitbourne 1). While this post is well written, it could utilize some more facts and supply a few of the author’s credentials.
The short article begins with a story about Michael Van Adams.
He was an excellent high school student with an outstanding scholastic record. After highschool, he thought he was prepared to deal with any hurdle that was provided before him, including his college education. Michael was quickly shown wrong. High school students invest so much time trying to get into college that they are typically forget the principles required to be prepared for college life. “A big number of trainees are Ill geared up for the difficulties of college” (2 ).
One of the primary skills that these students are doing not have due to the time taken in with admissions is the coursework; which can be dramatically different than high school. Other elements include: no longer living in your home; which for many trainees this is the very first time, and managing money and time. When these aspects exist, it can result in unneeded stress. Numerous colleges have actually been studying why the dropout rate is so high and attempting to construct a course or program to prepare trainees.
These “Survival Courses” (2) are to prepare trainees for the jobs that lie ahead.
One school that has been providing a course for college preparation is the University of South Carolina since 1972 (2). The article also provides six of the top reasons that college student’s dropout. In addition to the reasons, the article also provides six survival strategies to help prepare and prevent new students from falling into the same pattern. The author does not provide his credentials or whether or not he is qualified to write this article. An extra step is needed to find out that he is the lead web editor at a corporation. The author began as an
editorial intern in sports; therefore he is not exactly qualified to write on college dropouts. Though the author has been an editor for Healthy Kids’ Magazine, he is not an subject matter expert in the field. Nevertheless, because he does have research and editorial experience, this allows him to be taken seriously on the topic. Even without the actual author having all of the necessary qualifications; the article is clearly not biased and is completely objective. There is very limited presence of personal opinion and the facts, when presented, are undeniable within the text.
The author has provided numerous of good examples of students that have come face to face with the horrors of being a new college student. The beginning of the article begins with an introduction about student named Michael VanAdams. As you get more into the content of the article there is a reference made about Sara Stanton. Though there is dialogue from these individuals there is no proof stating whether or not Whitbourne himself interviewed these students or if he just came across their stories. Using strong subject matter experts within the field can make an article or study more reliable.
In the essay, Whitbourne also uses the expertise of Vincent Tinto and Robert Feldman. Tinto is the Chairman of the Higher Education Program at Syracuse University in New York. He is also the author of Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition. In addition, Robert Feldman is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts. The combination of these individuals greatly contributes to the overall prestige of the article.
Another factor that is important when writing articles is the prominent use of facts to back the author’s findings and results. Whitbourne did not use a lot of facts to back his article. The use of statistics, facts, quotations, and citations could have helped his article be more reliable. The statistics and references that were used were wonderful, nevertheless they were scarce. When a topic like this is being discussed the reader needs to feel confident in what he/she is reading. Without the proper statistics and citations the persuasiveness of this article can be questioned.
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